Saturday, May 09, 2009

Headlines Saturday 9th May 2009

Stoush looms over broken election promises
We are being told to prepare for "howls of protests" and broken election promises, just days away from what's tipped to be a horror Federal Budget.

Raging Rooster avoids jail over assault
Roosters forward Anthony Cherrington has come within a cat's whisker of being jailed, instead being sentenced to perform community service for assaulting his girlfriend.

Dokic offered Aust consular assistance
Damir Dokic will be offered Australian consular assistance while he is in jail for allegedly threatening to kill Australia's ambassador to Serbia.

Ad draws genitalia on Virgin Mary’s head
Sydney-siders are being urged to start ripping down controversial posters, depicting the Virgin Mary with a cartoon of male genitalia on her forehead.

200 hrs community service for Liati
Angela Liati, the woman who lied to help Judge Marcus Einfeld unsuccessfully beat a speeding fine,......

Rudd is 'spending like Paris Hilton'
The Prime Minister has been accused of ''spending like Paris Hilton'' and forcing the government......

Family history probed in Rozelle double murder
Police are delving into the business and family history of two brothers found dead with stab wounds at their Sydney home.

ETS 'will cost 10,000 coal mining jobs'
The coal industry is predicting 10,000 mining jobs will be lost by 2021 if the Rudd government proceeds with its carbon pollution reduction scheme.

Boat blast was from 'deliberate' arson
The explosion on board a boat filled with refugees occurred because of a deliberate attempt to set the vessel alight, The Australian newspaper reports.

Infrastructure to get $25b in budget
More than $25 billion will be invested in key rail, road and port projects as part of next week's federal budget.

Skilled migration intake to be slashed
Australia's skilled migration intake will be slashed for the second time in the past two months.

Swedish couple fight to name son 'Q'
A couple in Sweden has appealed to the country's supreme court in their fight to name their baby boy "Q", legal papers showed on Friday.

Family of Aussie woman jailed makes plea
The family of a sick Australian woman jailed in Kuwait has called on the Australian government to help their ailing mother.
Tim Blair
Harvard University climate changeling Monika Kopacz exposes greenoid tactics:
It is no secret that a lot of climate-change research is subject to opinion, that climate models sometimes disagree even on the signs of the future changes (e.g. drier vs. wetter future climate). The problem is, only sensational exaggeration makes the kind of story that will get politicians’ — and readers’ — attention. So, yes, climate scientists might exaggerate, but in today’s world, this is the only way to assure any political action and thus more federal financing to reduce the scientific uncertainty.
So “sensational exaggeration” (or as we outside of Harvard call it, lying) is justified as a means of securing cash. Is climate lying a crime under climate law?
Tim Blair
It seems odd, in this era of photoshoppery, that police would produce mere sketches of a fugitive’s possible current appearance:

Even odder is that the new sketches (based on this image) weren’t produced until killer beardo academic George Zinkhan had already been on the run for 10 days (also odd: the police sketches are signed). Odder still … according to CBS affiliate WSPA, Zirkhan has lately adopted the look of a compressed wolfman:

Squished or shaved, Zinkhan remains at large. Says one commenter:
The police are being outsmarted by this guy, big time.
Tim Blair
Timed-shower enthusiast Melissa Doyle would love this:
The goal of the piece was to show how water overconsumption could be countered in “either a disturbing or a gorgeous way” using innovative materials and inflatable technology. According to Elisabeth, “This shower curtain slowly inflates around you while you shower. It leaves you only a few minutes to take your shower before trapping you.” Better hurry.
Title of Elisabeth Buecher’s artwork: “My Shower Curtain is a Green Warrior”. But, as one critic notes: “How do you turn off the water after you’ve been squashed by the curtain for taking too long?”
Tim Blair
“I’ve always suspected that George W Bush wasn’t really a big fan of Christian fundamentalists,” writes Damian Thompson. “He’s an evangelical with Catholic leanings, not a Bible-basher. Now my suspicions have been confirmed …”

Read on. Prominent among those who bought into the Bush-fundie theory were now-retired local columnists. Then again, Bush does possess God-quality time-bending skills, as revealed in the case of John Kerry’s friend Wade Sanders:
Wade Sanders got bagged with over 600 images of kiddie porn on his computer, and then claimed he was viewing them for research purposes. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Then Kerry’s pal offered an even more hackneyed defense:

Bush did it! That’s right, Sanders told the judge he didn’t start sampling kiddie porn until after he tried to defend Sen. Kerry against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. That made him a “target” of those rascally Republicans.

“That experience caused a serious resurgence of the PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) symptoms … I encountered (kiddie porn) while accidentally downloading what I thought was a comedy video.”

Alas, as The Wall Street Journal noted, the chronology doesn’t work. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who supposedly drove John Kerry’s pal to kiddie porn, weren’t formed until May 2004. Sanders began downloading his “comedy videos” in November 2003.
That might explain the guilty plea.
Tim Blair
Why didn’t Kevin Rudd take the politically-easier path of providing Australian households with solar panels, instead of persisting with his now-delayed emissions trading scheme? “Because solar panels are no panacea,” writes Sue Dunlevy:
The Daily Telegraph has been given estimates that such a scheme would cost $207 billion.

The estimate also revealed it would only get us 12 per cent of the reduction in emissions needed to meet the lowest emission reduction target of five per cent by 2020.

Worse, a standard 1kW/hr solar panel system on every one of the nation’s 6.38 million rooftops would produce only enough electricity to cover about one quarter of the average household’s electricity use ... Households only generate 10 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions, so concentrating a solution on this one sector won’t solve the real problem.

Solar panels might be good politics but they are financially appalling. They are one of the most expensive alternative ways to generate power.
Yet the government will pay you $8000 to install them.
Tim Blair
Blogger William A. Jacobson has some playful fun with fawning media coverage of an Obama burger purchase. Reaction: outrage!
Tim Blair
Thoughts on the phenomenon of tilting, as demonstrated by caring greenist Graham Readfearn:
Tim Blair
The fellow somehow became Prime Minister of Britain:

UPDATE. Ian Bremmer:
Just how poorly are things going for Mr. Brown? His popularity has fallen further and faster than any prime minister since reliable polling became available nearly 80 years ago …

And polls show that Labour now trails the Conservative Party by 15 to 20 percentage points.
A licence to tell warming lies
Andrew Bolt
Harvard University PhD candidate Monika Kopacz insists global warming scientists have a duty to lie:

It is no secret that a lot of climate-change research is subject to opinion, that climate models sometimes disagree even on the signs of the future changes (e.g. drier vs. wetter future climate). The problem is, only sensational exaggeration makes the kind of story that will get politicians’ — and readers’ — attention. So, yes, climate scientists might exaggerate, but in today’s world, this is the only way to assure any political action and thus more federal financing to reduce the scientific uncertainty.

We’ve heard such admissions before, of course:

Professor Stephen Schneider, global warming guru at Stanford University (said) ”we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

Then there was this defence of - and allegedly by - Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery. And this use of the warmists’ licence to exaggerate by Robyn “100 metres” Williams.
The boat was torched, and Australians hurt
Andrew Bolt
More leaks on the story the Rudd Government refuses to discuss:

THERE was a deliberate attempt to set Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel 36 alight off Ashmore Reef on April 16, but speculation has been raised as to whether it was an Indonesian crew member, rather than Afghan asylum seekers, who wanted to scuttle the boat.

The claims come as The Weekend Australian has learned that at least two of the nine Australian Defence Force personnel who were on the vessel when it blew up have had breakdowns and will not return to service.
Cutting 7000 from 337,000 equals overcrowding
Andrew Bolt
We’re adding the population of Adelaide every three years:

IMMIGRATION has soared to record levels, even with the country in recession. Figures show that in the year to March, permanent and long-term arrivals outnumbered departures by 337,000.

So this trifling cut to our record intake will hardly be noticed, being more spin than traction:

THE Rudd Government will slash the skilled migration intake for a second time in as many months in a clear signal it expects the jobless rate to keep rising. The Herald understands next week’s federal budget will cut the general skilled migration intake for next financial year by about 7000 people to 108,000.

Added to the decision in March to axe 18,500 places, the total reduction of 25,500 will constitute a 20 per cent cut to the program.

Do we really have jobs for all these people, and the locals, too? And do we have the water, power and housing land, given the failure of governments to provide them?
Start the prosecutions with Pelosi
Andrew Bolt
The CIA is now at war with the holier-than-thou Obama Democrats - exposing their Sergeant Schultz act over waterboarding:

Intelligence officials released documents this evening saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was briefed in September 2002 about the use of harsh interrogation tactics against al-Qaeda prisoners, seemingly contradicting her repeated statements over the past 18 months that she was never told that these techniques were actually being used.

In a 10-page memo outlining an almost seven-year history of classified briefings, intelligence officials said that Pelosi and then-Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) were the first two members of Congress ever briefed on the interrogation tactics. Then the ranking member and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, respectively, Pelosi and Goss were briefed Sept. 4, 2002, one week before the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The memo, issued by the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency to Capitol Hill, notes the Pelosi-Goss briefing covered “EITs including the use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah.” EIT is an acronym for enhanced interrogation technique. Zubaydah was one of the earliest valuable al-Qaeda members captured and the first to have the controversial tactic known as water boarding used against him.

If the Democrats really want to prosecute those complicit in “torture”, they could do worse than to start with the third most senior Democrat in the land.
And the only one ready still to give
Andrew Bolt
Tom Switzer in the Wall Street Journal names the ”three patron saints of the conservative cause” - Thatcher, Reagan and ...
Stocks in Green Inc fall
Andrew Bolt
Is it because greens won’t put their money where their mouths are, or is it that they’re too economically illiterate to have money themselves?

THE bad news keeps coming for Australian international environmental equity funds and their investors. The latest is that DWS Investments has closed its Global Climate Change Fund.

Australian international environmental funds are a new sector of the fund management industry that have tried hard to get off the ground. But after two years and the global financial crisis they are still struggling… All the six retail funds that began (in 2007) have faced difficulties and three have now closed.
Green patsies pasted
Andrew Bolt
You either believe man is heating the world to hell, and we can’t delay cutting our gases, or you do not. So the ACF’s craven decision to back Kevin Rudd’s postponement of his emissions trading scheme should be unforgivable to members who are true global warming believers:

An emergency board meeting of the Australian Conservation Foundation will be held today as anger mounts in the green group over its officials’ support for the government’s emission trading scheme.

The ACF is a member of the Southern Cross Climate Coalition, along with the ACTU and ACOSS, which rushed out to endorse Monday’s amended Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

ACF executive director Don Henry says he made the decision to support the scheme with president Ian Lowe. But the ACF’s member-chosen council, which in turn selects the board, is understood to be unhappy with their move, reflecting anger amongst rank and file members.

The green movement is much like the business lobby - it will sell out anything, just to sit at Kevin Rudd’s table.
Why do we have laws that appall the rest of the country?
Andrew Bolt
Other states and outside experts look in horror to see what Victoria’s offensive laws against speech have wrought:
FRANK BRENNAN, the Jesuit lawyer who heads the Federal Government’s public consultations for a national human rights charter, will move today to dispel concerns by some church leaders that the charter could entail the introduction of federal religious vilification laws.

Father Brennan will tell the Australian College of Applied Psychology in a speech to be delivered this afternoon that there is a “credible argument” that religious vilification laws of the kind that already exist in Victoria ”unduly interfere with the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of conscience, religion and belief”.

“There are some places the law should not tread,” he will say. Victoria’s laws resulted in the controversial prosecution of a member of the Pentecostal Catch the Fire Ministries for making negative comments about Islam.

Why hasn’t the local ABC and Age campaigned against these draconian laws, when the rest of the country can see they are mad? Why did the Liberals in Victoria not vote against them? It’s not as if none of this farce could have been predicted.
Gillard damns Rudd’s plan
Andrew Bolt
It’s on. Julia Gillard has blasted a plan leaked by her own government to break an election promise and slash funding for IVF.

This is the leak:

The Government is also considering means testing the child-care rebate and cutting back on IVF and obstetrics payments funded under the Medicare safety net.

And this is the furious Gillard:

What was fundamental before the election is expendable after the election with this plan to cap Medicare funding for IVF...

She’s so angry that she’s taking the extraodinary step of organising this petition against the move, which she calls ”cruel”:

The petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House, the significance of IVF in our community, the opportunity that IVF offers to couples who would otherwise never have a family, and that 1 in every 35 babies born in Australia are as a result of IVF treatment. Your petitioners therefore ask the House to ensure no changes are made to current Medicare funding of IVF treatments as proposed...

And from an interview she’s now recorded for Lateline urging voters to sign it:

JULIA GILLARD....: We are calling on all Australians who are disgusted with the… Government’s lack of honesty and disgusted with its lack of compassion to sign this petition.

But, wait. All Gillard’s statements actually come from 2005, when she damned a similar - but less harsh - Liberal plan to cut this funding. Now, of course, she’s saying nothing.
Students taught to fix what isn’t broken
Andrew Bolt
Just when global warming theory is falling apart, a new school curriculum insists the debate is over:

STUDENTS will be encouraged to find solutions to global warming with the launch of a new environmental school curriculum in Melbourne.
Are Broadcast Networks Giving Up on President's Prime-Time Pressers?
By Bret Baier
Dollars & Sense

Broadcast network executives are said to be furious that President Obama's prime-time news conferences have cost them about $30 million in ad revenue. The Hollywood Reporter says they are quietly hoping that FOX Broadcasting Company's refusal to air the most recent one has set a precedent. One network executive who spoke on condition of anonymity says: "The FOX decision gives us cover to reject a request if we feel that there is no urgent breaking news."

FOX aired the president's first two prime-time news conferences. But, the second one preempted "American Idol," costing the company millions. So executives passed on the April 29 event. Now other networks may follow suit says an anonymous network executive: "The millions of ad dollars the president is costing us could help us keep some people working."

President Obama's last news conference drew about 20 million fewer viewers than his first. While the FOX Broadcast Network did not air it, it was of course available on the FOX News Channel and on the FOX Business Network.
Hate Speech
By Bill O'Reilly
No question that hate speech is on the rise all over the world. The Internet is driving it because you can say any vile thing you want on the Net while hiding under your bed. Cowards everywhere are using cyberspace to lower the bar of discourse. That, in turn, has made it easier for fanatics to use vicious rhetoric in public:


MICHAEL MUSTO, WRITER: She'll just be looking for a husband who wants the only virgin in the world with breast implants. They also paid for Carrie to cut off her (EXPLETIVE).

JANEAN GARAFALO, COMEDIAN: This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is a nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks.

FRED PHELPS, SR., WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH: America is pouring gasoline on the raging fires of God's wrath. America may expect many more dead and maimed bodies from Iraq, many more Katrinas and other natural disasters.


Well now the British government is saying enough and is banning some of the haters. The Brits actually have a list of people not allowed entry into the country because of what they've said. There are a number of Muslim fanatics on the list and also some Americans.

The most prominent name is Michael Weiner aka Michael Savage, the radio talk show host. Neo-Nazi blogger Eric Gliebe is on the list, as is Jewish militant Mike Guzovsky. Don Black, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, is on the list. And the gay-hating father-daughter team Fred and Shirley Phelps are also banned from Britain.

The problem here is: Where does the list end?

The vile attacks on NBC News against Miss California were hate speech. So were the vicious comments directed toward the tea party demonstrators. Will the British government close down NBC's London bureau? And British politician Alan Duncan, will he be deported for his comments about Miss California?


ALAN DUNCAN, BRITISH POLITICIAN: I don't agree with her, silly (EXPLETIVE). I don't agree with her at all. If you read that Miss California's been murdered, you'll know it was me, won't you?


And the hate goes on. How about the gay protesters who invade churches? Can they not go to Great Britain? And what about the Minutemen? They protest against illegal aliens. Will Britain ban them?

The truth is that protest is sometimes defined as hate, but that definition can be wrong. There are often two sides to the story, thus a hate speech list is risky business because there are so many contentious points of view in this world.

So I say the list should be narrowed to people who advocate or incite violence. That should be the standard. Certainly, democratic governments have a right to keep the peace and diffuse violent movements before illegal acts are committed. But banning someone for hate speech, as vile as it is, is wrong. So I think the NBC News bureau in London should stay open.
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